The first two days of the USS strike at Leeds have been magnificent. We’ve had more pickets than ever before, people picketing who’ve never taken strike action before, very senior colleagues out with us. We’ve given out thousands of leaflets, had good conversations with loads of students, and chatted with prospective students and parents coming to Visit Days and interviews. We marched down to town on Thursday lunchtime and had a great rally outside the Art Gallery. We were blown away by the speakers from Leeds students support UCU and delighted to hear stirring support from Jane Aitchison, Leeds Trades Union Council President. Then on Friday, Alex Sobel MP spoke at our rally on the Parkinson steps, followed by the first of the Striking Insights Teach Out sessions at the Quaker Centre. We had masses of media, both local and national, at Leeds. Special thanks to our branch President Vicky for doing such a good job of back to back interviews, and to everyone else who talked to the media on our behalf. In case you missed it, here’s some of the coverage which featured us at Leeds (obviously, there was also masses more nationally and regionally everywhere else): TV … continue reading
The latest newsletter for members of UCU University of Leeds branch is available now. Download a PDF version here Contents include: Pensions- what’s going on? Questions about striking Pensions – how can you help? ‘Striking Insights’ strikes again! Gender pay gap IT reorganisation Health and Safety reorganisation Workload Sexual Harassment support hotline Statutes dispute Scholarships for asylum speakers Please share widely! … continue reading
The ‘UCU choir’ has been carolling on campus this week. We have some alternative lyrics, written by the talented poets among our members (ahem), see some examples below. Our performance by the Wavy Lines sculpture (“Sign for Art”) was greeted with smiles, giggles, and even some applause! We greatly enjoyed this festive way of making our views known about our statutes dispute and about pensions. If you like singing (no experience or ability necessary) or play an instrument, get in touch so we can invite you next time. Some alternative lyrics (there are more…) We wish you a merry Christmas We wish we could keep our pensions (x3) It would make our New Year (Chorus) Sad tidings we bring, to staff and their kin To have a fair pension, this fight we must win We all want a decent pension (x3) So vote to strike now We won’t stop until we’ve won this (x3) So join in right here All I want for Christmas We don’t want a lot for Christmas, There are just some things we need, We don’t care about the presents, Underneath the Christmas tree, We just want to keep our rights, Not dismissal overnight, Make our … continue reading
This meeting is a chance for all members to come together to discuss the implementation of the Academic Censure and Boycott procedure, which we voted to invoke in our dispute over changes to Statutes, and which was agreed by UCU Congress last summer. We will outline how the stepped procedure works, various ways it can be adapted to suit our campaign, and what it means for us as members and as academic and academic related staff. Leeds UCU Committee are hosting the meeting and we will be joined by Paul Bridge (UCU’s national Head of Higher Education Bargaining and Campaigns) and Douglas Chalmers (UCU’s national Vice President). There will be cake! The venue is in recent emails. See you there. Update from Leeds UCU President 13th November about SOSR and academic freedom: When we look around the wider Higher Education sector, it’s worrying to note that moves to introduce “Some Other Substantial Reason” into statutes have started to appear in clusters, almost 30 years after it was explicitly excluded from University Statutes that arose from the Education Reform Act, (1988). It was excluded with a view to maintaining protection of academic freedom. Other universities have rejected the introduction of SOSR … continue reading
All members are welcome to the next Action Group meeting on Tuesday 7 November from 1-2 pm (see email for venue). Please come along to work on the next steps in the Statutes campaign, including discussing future action and to help develop the inspiring ‘University of the Aire’ theme which emerged in the ‘Striking Insights’ teach-out.